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HOW TO KEEP YOUR KIDS BUSY AND GET A FEW MINUTES TO YOURSELF RIGHT NOW!

Updated: Apr 14

So here we are at what feels like week 100 of social distancing and staying home. And if your house is anything like mine you’re burning through your craft supplies pretty fast and are looking for more activities to keep your kids busy.

I thought it might be helpful to share some fun photography activities you can add to your

roster. Photography is a fantastic hobby for kids of all ages because it combines different elements of science, technology and the arts. Kids learn to express themselves in a new and exciting way by manipulating the camera, the light and environment around them to convey a scene. This may sound complicated but I promise it’s not. While like most things there are technically ‘rules’ to photography BUT it’s also an art form so anything goes!

Below, I’ve listed some activities that I do with my kids (ages 3 & 5) to get their creative juices flowing (and to give me a little downtime!). You don’t need a fancy camera to accomplish any of these – a phone or tablet with a camera, an old digital camera if you have one lying around, a kids camera, or a polaroid will do just fine. One thing worth noting is that polaroid film can be pricy and they tend to go through it pretty fast. My three year old prefers to use her v-tech camera (honestly not my favourite) and my five year old prefers to use an old iphone.

PHOTO SCAVENGER HUNTS

One of our favourite things to do is a Photo Scavenger hunt. This is really great because it works across different ages. Just like a regular scavenger hunt I make a list of things that I want them to find and photograph in the garden. And if it’s raining or you don’t have a garden it works just as well indoors!

The possibilities are endless, but here’s a sample list of items to get you started:

· All the green things in the yard (change the colour as you please)

· Animals (including pets)

· Insects

· Trees, plants, flowers, dirt

· The house

· Outdoor toys

Anyways, you get the idea! After photographing all the things on the list I have the kids show me the photos they took and we talk about them. It’s a great way to work on observation skills, communication skills and following directions. And you can make the hunt more complex as kids get older – they can try photographing those things from different perspectives, or get more specific with your requests like take a picture of the second window from the left, etc.

PHOTO BINGO:

This is kind of a mash up between traditional BINGO and a scavenger hunt. Fill your card with different items you can see in your yard, house or neighbourhood if you're going for a walk. Kids need to snap a photo of each item they see from the card. Like BINGO, have them try to fill a line or all four corners or for maximum time filling, I recommend going full card!


You don't have to re-invent the wheel here! To make things easy I've created a template you can DOWNLOAD HERE!!!! Note: if you're viewing on mobile click on the BINGO card to reveal additional templates.


DOCUMENTING THEIR CREATIONS:


Another fun thing to do is incorporate taking photos into their regular play. For example, if they’ve just built the biggest tower in the universe, painted the brightest rainbow or have all their cars lined up just the way they like them hand them a phone and tell them to take some photos of their accomplishment.

It’s also a nice way for them to share their creations with friends and family during social distancing!

SETTING THE SCENE:

One of my son’s favourite things to do is to photograph his toys doing something interesting. This lets him flex his imagination as he positions his figures or cars just so before snapping a photo. Little toys like lego men look like giants when placed in tall grass. Similarly, hot wheels become monster trucks when rolling over pebbles. The possibilities are only limited by their imagination!

OVER/UNDER/NEAR/FAR

This activity encourages your kids to look at things in a different way. Tell them to find an object and take a photo from above (looking down at it), from the side, up close (really close), and then far away. And then ask them questions about it – which view did they prefer? How does the object look different in each photo?

PARENT PORTRAITS!

My kids love taking photos of me. And usually when I’m at my messiest – especially during quarantine! Unflattering as they may be, I’ve learned to let them do it. After all, I photograph them all the time so it’s only fair. I’ve gotten smarter though, I say sure you can take a photo of me drinking my tea (that way I guarantee a couple of warm sips!).


I'd love to know if you try any of these! If you share on on facebook or instagram tag me @capturedkindred

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